I first met Brendan and Colin twenty-six years ago today. Since then we have shared innumerable amazing experiences, a credit to their generosity and willingness to open their meaningful proficiencies to me.
Thanks to them, I have enjoyed extreme sub-terranean and alti-terranean adventures, events mostly fulgurous, occasionally errant, but always vivid.
Brendan taught me to savor the quiet thrill one may enjoy during a night-time expedition through an abandoned hospital in east Texas, where his respect for once useful objects and relevant places left behind became apparent, compounding the number of reasons he deserves admiration.
Colin taught me that one’s appreciation of nature and wilderness is enhanced, not occluded by demanding conditions. On a cross-country ski and snowshoe expedition, in several feet of fresh snow, his infectious unabated enthusiasm for everything outdoors imparted a unique, enviable focus on values that matter.
I hope both of them enjoy this homemade gift on the occasion of their 26th birthday. Here’s hoping this gift finds its rightful place on their list of reminiscences that begin with the phrase, “Remember that time when Tio . . .”
First, imagine the plaza pictured below filled with hundreds and hundreds of people. School kids on field trips, families, vendors selling helado, dogs, tourists, and so on.
This MP3 file is a practice recording or the speech a gringo makes to the estudiantes taking a lunch break on the steps of the cathedral:
I trimmed out the teacher bits, like when I paused and repeated my greeting in order to get a response (engage the audience!).
Many Thanks to this random group of students on a field trip to the Catedral Metropolitana de Quito. After today they may not wear their bright yellow jackets in public anymore.